The Success Case Method

Our quick and simple process helps make sure your training has a positive business impact

Success Stories

When asked to justify training investments in terms of the impact on enterprise performance, learning professionals have traditionally been on the defensive. Why?

Because so-called “fourth-level validation” methods require suspicious statistical gyrations, and the tedious and impractical setting up of control groups to benchmark against trained populations. What’s worse, efforts to surgically separate the impact of training from other measures that may have contributed to the results, are bound to be both divisive and counterproductive.

The Success Case Method is based on structured interviews with scientific samples of learners who put their training to work to achieve real and measurable business value. It results in concrete evidence that can stand up to the scrutiny of senior executives. Better still, it rapidly surfaces the key factors that make or break impact, pinpointing opportunities to refine both training and performance support so next-generation solutions can be rapidly prototyped and deployed.

An overview of the Success Case Method

The Success Case Method, developed by Robert O. Brinkerhoff, is a quick and simple process that combines analysis with case study and storytelling. The purpose is to find out how well an organizational initiative (e.g., a learning experience, a new work method) is working, as well as explain the contextual factors that differentiate successful from unsuccessful adopters of new initiatives.

The Success Case Process

  • Brief survey sent to participants to identify the most and least successful
  • Interview the most successful to “dig deep” into their experience to determine the exact nature and extent of their success, seeking credible evidence of the results that would “stand up in court”
    • Exactly what they used, when they used it, how, when, etc.
    • What results they accomplished
    • How valuable the results are (e.g., in dollars)
    • What environmental factors enabled their application and results
  • Interview of the least successful to determine why they were unable to use or benefit from the learning experience.
  • Report findings sharing the most compelling stories and descriptive examples of success the learning experience has achieved, the barriers impeding results and recommendations on how to improve the learning experience and other organization initiative to drive meaningful business results

Benefits and application in your organization

  • Communicate exactly how business results are being improved through learning
  • Discover irrefutable evidence that training works
  • Justify investments being made in training and development
  • Identify cultural or system obstacles that may impede learner’s success back on
    the job
  • Design impact enhancement procedures
  • Identify actions leading to greater application of learning

Learn more

Ask us about conducting a success case for your organization or how to certify an individual inside your organization to conduct your own Success Case studies.


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